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City of Torrance
Class Code: 1265

Class Designation: Civil Service

March 1986

Representation Unit: Executive and Management Employees


Purchasing Agent


Under direction of the General Services Director, plans, organizes and supervises the activities of the Purchasing Division, performs difficult professional work regarding research, analysis and development of contracts to procure equipment, supplies and services for the City; and performs related work as required.

Distinguishing Characteristics

Distinguished from General Services Director in that the incumbent is not responsible for the overall operation of the General Services Department. Distinguished from Buyer in that the Buyer is not responsible for directing the operations of the Purchasing Division.

Examples Of Duties

  • Plans, organizes, directs and reviews all functions relating directly to the purchase of equipment, supplies and services for the City;
  • develops and writes standardized and specialized bid specification through researching and analyzing information to determine product and/or service need and availability;
  • researches, examines and analyzes bid proposals and prepares recommendations to City Manager and City Council regarding awarding of bids;
  • determines quality and quantity of inventory;
  • establishes standard stocking quantities of warehouse inventories;
  • maintains control of purchased material and equipment;
  • confers with department heads and other employees to establish specific description of requested goods or services;
  • consults and confers with vendors to obtain and provide market information to departments;
  • establishes procedures to receive and disperse all stock and other items to requisitioning departments;
  • recommends disposal of surplus City equipment, supplies and material;
  • supervises, evaluates and provides training for subordinate personnel;
  • assists in the preparation and administration of the Purchasing Division budget;
  • may act as department head in the absence of the General Services Director.
  • Minimum Qualifications

    Knowledge of
  • Methods, procedures and systems used in governmental purchasing;
  • Legal aspects of contracts, contract services and bidding procedures;
  • Construction methods, materials and services;
  • Basic computer applications;
  • Supervisory principles and practices.
  • Ability to
  • Prepare clean and concise reports;
  • Prepare bid specifications and write contracts;
  • Develop procurement procedures and programs which will result in most efficient use of City funds;
  • Understand and carry out oral and written instructions;
  • Establish and maintain effective working relationship with employees, vendors and others;
  • Supervise the work of subordinate staff including coordinating, assigning, monitoring and evaluating work, hiring, training, counseling and disciplining staff.
  • Experience

    Four years of experience in contract purchasing of a variety of material, services and equipment.


    Graduation from a four year college or university including courses in business administration, public administration, accounting, business law, basic computer science or related field. Up to two years (or a maximum of sixty college units) of the required education may be substituted by additional experience in contract purchasing on a year-for-year basis.